Today a patent revealed Apple’s thoughts on creating a “smart fabric.” We discover a lot of patents, they don’t end up being a reality in general but this is something interesting to see. This patent consists of a smart fabric that could be integrated into devices such as the Apple Watch in the form of buttons.
The patent, filed today at the United States Patent and Trademark Office shows a smart fabric applied to buttons, which could be used to create sportswear that interacts with our devices. These buttons, according to Apple’s patent, could cover all kinds of uses.
For example, they could be included in watch straps, keyboards, casings, and even smartphones and laptops, either to include dedicated buttons or to add this smart fabric to the body of smartphones and laptops.
Apple’s smart fabric is revealed with a patent
Unfortunately, the patent is not particularly extensive but it points out that these buttons could have a sensor-like circuit with a capacitive or resistive sensor.
By monitoring the conductive structures of the button, it could detect changes in its electrical characteristics and collect information about events related to its presses.
The idea would be to form a button with strands of conductive material forming resistive paths and other structures that could be controlled by other circuits.
These buttons can also serve as force sensors that detect stress activity, which could help applications with sports purposes. In fact, the patent itself leaves open another more interesting scenario, in which these buttons could control applications dedicated to fitness and training.